My Puppy Won’t Stop Jumping! What do I do?
First, remember that your puppy is jumping to get your attention. If you push them down, tell them to stop, make eye contact or pay attention to them in any way, you’re rewarding them by giving them exactly what they want – attention! As hard as it is to ignore that sweet puppy face, you have to take that reward away by training yourself to turn away and pull your hands up. Be sure to inform any guests that are coming to your house as well, so you can keep things consistent during training. Once the puppy stops jumping, you can turn around and reward the puppy with praise, as long as he/she has all four on the floor. Once the jumping starts again, turn around. If they aren’t getting what they want, they will learn quickly to stop that behavior.
I can’t keep my dog out of the garbage. What can I do to stop this behavior?
This is a tough one. I have dealt with this issue with my dog. Get a garbage can with a lid. Tie the garbage bag if you aren’t going to be home. I move the garbage to another room, tie the bag and close the door. There are certain things we can’t just train a dog to stop doing, especially when it involves that yummy-smelling garbage! So, managing their environment is the best solution. If you don’t want your dog in the trash, don’t give them the opportunity to get into it.
Is it really necessary to take my dog to a puppy class? Can’t I just teach him at home?
Yes, you can definitely teach him at home, and it is great that you plan to! However, socialization is key to a new puppy, and you can get much of it by taking a training class. Your dog will not only be exposed to other puppies in a safe environment, but also to other adults and kids. In addition to this, the sounds and smells at class are also a new introduction for your puppy. The more you can introduce and expose your puppy to, the better off he/she will be as an adult. Remember, never force your puppy into anything. You are simply offering another environment for them to experience and investigate with your guidance and encouragement. Socialization is imperative to your puppy’s growth process, and it must be done right. Remember to have fun and stay positive and your puppy will too!
I wanted to be sure to remind everyone that at this time of year when decorations are going up and family is celebrating, your animals will be a big part of the festivities too! Don’t forget that many things that are part of our holiday celebrations are toxic to dogs — chocolate, poinsettia, mistletoe, holly, potpourri and the list goes on. Be sure to keep wires and ornaments out of your animal’s reach. Follow the general rule that anything that isn’t your dogs’ food or treats is something they should not have it.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!